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  1.  (4956.1)
    @orwell's - that is something that should be printed next to every complaint line number:

    'Our call centre staff Know Daley. Have a nice day.'
    • CommentAuthorsruffne
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2009
     (4956.2)
    Analytical Chemist, quality control for pharmaceuticals

    - Those fucks in the Georgia peanut plant that allowed those tainted products to go through deserved to be skewered. QC can and will find what is wrong with your stuff. The FDA is actually very strict.

    - That being said, chemists do know how to adjust data so that clients do not flip out over products that will never be released not meeting spec. When you have seen enough test results you know what is wrong and what is not. We will do the job, we just don't like paperwork.

    - Quality Control is basically broken down into chemists and QA. The chemist give you data. QA tells you that you missed a comma, more paperwork for you. Chemists generally do not like QA, and vise versa. If a chemist befriends a QA guy, you are golden.

    - If your product has a competitor, all of your dirty little secrets will be found. And published. In high gloss.

    - People with a QA mentality tell their kids at night that if they do not go to sleep soon, the FDA will pop out of the closet and audit them.
    • CommentAuthorENGINE
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2009
     (4956.3)
    @sruffne

    What is QA? Qualitative Analysis?
    •  
      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2009
     (4956.4)
    Probably "Quality Assurance".
    • CommentAuthorchris g
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2009
     (4956.5)
    delivery charge for your furniture ranges from $29-$69. It's mostly b.s. and we're just squeezing extra $$$ outta you because you allowed it ^_^
    • CommentAuthorChrisD
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2009
     (4956.6)
    I work in an autoglass repair shop. Some tips and warnings if you ever have to take your car in to get worked on.

    1. Anything found under the seats/floor mats of your vehicle will be considered fair game for sticky fingered mechanics. This applies to money, drugs, electronics, sunglasses etc. If it looks like you won't miss it for a while or that you forgot it was there, it's gone.

    2. Do not ask to come into the workshop to watch me work. It's not safe for either of us and you will be a distraction for me. I know how much your car is worth and I will do my best not to damage it in any way. And even if I do cause some damage, the shop will pay for the repairs.

    3. This ties in with #1. Do not leave anything in your vehicle that you don't want stolen or at least snooped through. I personally will not take anything from a customer's vehicle but a lot of the people in this industry do not have such morals. All the shops have signs posted stating that they accept no responsibility for lost or stolen property. Heed this warning and leave all your valuables at home.

    4. I take pride in the work I do. If you are not satisfied with something, let me know politely and I will do everything I can to fix it. I cannot stress the polite part enough. Nobody is going to do a thing to help you if you come stomping into the shop with an attitude.

    5. If you're female and cute, the guys in the shop will bend over backwards to help you, no matter what they're doing.

    That's all I can think of at the moment but I'm sure I can add more after some sleep.

    G'night all.
    • CommentAuthorredex
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2009
     (4956.7)
    A mix of rant and trade secrets, although I'm sure not many of these are really secrets...

    Librarian:
    + Yes, we are all secretly hating you. Just take your books and GO.
    + No, I haven't read the new Danielle Steel. I work in a library, not a supermarket. But I bet I can BS you for long enough to get you out of my library.
    + Some people will dodge phone calls, letters, and visits at home for months rather than admit they lost a book. Chances are it was our only copy of a bestseller. We charge 25c per book per week overdue rates and get all our books through donations. Please, for the love of god, just give us our books back.
    + There are actually old men who come to visit university libraries just to stalk the girls who work the front desk during the late-night shifts. This is not only creepy but traumatizing. If you notice a patron doing this, the people who work there will LOVE you for stepping in (non-violently) on their behalf, because chances are they are shy and quiet people who can't handle it and/or they need to go through some sort of ridiculous committee bureaucracy to get someone banned from the library.
    + What am I doing on my laptop? Writing porn, that's what. It's a boring job.
    + Processing a hardcover book takes about half an hour (not including typing & filing the paper cards) and I tape down those flaps for a reason. You think I'm not going to notice when you bring it back that you pried the cover off?
    + It's in alphabetical order. Surprise! There are even signs.
    + I might look like I'm reading, but I'm definitely listening to your conversation.
    + I am not a babysitter. Your kids may read the books, you may read them the books, but they do not get to run around shouting and pull the cards out of order. I may say it's fine, but I am killing you in my head.


    Soccer Referee:
    + Even if we're wrong, and we know we're wrong, if it's more than two seconds after the fact we are not going to admit it, especially if play has started again. Yelling at me just gets you a yellow card, it's probably just better for you to just focus on playing.
    + Referees make the rules. If we don't have a stadium counting down the clock for us, we can end the game whenever we feel like it. If you've got a problem, please, by all means bring it to the convener/admin body. Chances are they'll back us over you, especially if you're a psycho bitch (yes, I'm talking about you, crazy lady from summer 08).
    + Referees are usually the players who like the mouth off or play dirty the most, so you really don't want to play against a referee team.
    + We can always tell when you're faking.
    + If I couldn't see what just happened, if I'm tired or hungover, or just forgot to put my contacts in that morning, I'll probably give the calls to whoever yells the loudest or picks up the ball first, so don't be afraid to act ahead of the call.
    + Most referees don't care enough to call things in one team's favour over another, but there are guys out there who are consistently biased and think you should like them for that. Don't bother complaining about them, though, chances are all the other reffs hate them too and they're just been around so long we can't get rid of them. You can't fire people who are essentially volunteers. I will, however, overlook all kinds of ridiculous stunts if you're polite about it. Or cute. That helps.
    + I'm getting paid whether or not we play the game. Most reffs would really like to have the game be played and will do their very best to make sure it happens, but if you've got three players at starting time and promise everybody else will get there in a half an hour I am not at all obligated to hang around.
    + Tell a referee that they did a good job or that you agree with a difficult call and you are golden. I will literally sleep with you for that.

    Loving this thread, excellent insights.
  2.  (4956.8)
    @E0157H7: The first bank I worked at gave us very awesome robbery training.

    Here's the basics:

    * Do whatever they say, but do not leave with them.
    * Hand out the dye packs, bait clips or marked bills if you're comfortable doing so, but not if you think it will cause harm.
    * If they try to force you to go with them, drop to the floor and go limp. They're in a hurry and will just leave.
    * If you go with them, you'll die.
    * After the robbery, don't let anyone talk about the robbery until they have talked to the police. Instead, have them write down what they saw. People's recollections can and will change after they have heard someone else's.
    * Seriously, I described the second robber as "taller than me and black as midnight", but instead he was shorter and a lighter-complected black male. This is why cops hate to work off of eye-witness reports.
    * After the robber has left, you immediately lock the door and ask all of the customers to stay until the police come. If they're unable to do so, take down their contact information and let them know that the police WILL be contacting them.
    * The FBI are actually compassionate and pretty cool to deal with.
    * Never volunteer anything. The same guys who robbed me (it later turned out they were a team) had robbed another local bank. The teller there asked if they wanted to go into the vault, to which of course they said yes. The teller went to unlock the safe, and in her state of shock forgot the combination. The robber pistol-whipped her in the head twelve times, to the point that flesh was removed from the skull. Never volunteer anything.

    The second bank, the one where I was actually robbed, had no robbery training. I hate to say it, but I felt lucky that I was the one held hostage, because the other people may have panicked and handled the situation wrong. The guys came in, got the money, and I got them out.

    And no, the fact that my name is 'Rob' is not lost on me.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2009
     (4956.9)
    Okay - trade secrets in PR and marketing copy writing:

    First, as I've said earlier, no one cares about your press release. Don't bother sending out press releases to try to promote your product or whatever it is you want to promote. No matter how pretty it is, or how informative, it won't work.

    The FIRST thing you do is make your mailing list. Do this very carefully. Spend as much time thinking about it and checking titles and journalists and whether they're relevant as you might on your super-pretty press release. Use existing contacts. Don't bother with newswires, or anything like that.

    A polite one line email, which should be in PLAIN TEXT ONLY summing up what you're offering, sent to a very small, carefully focused mailing list can get you far more coverage, and billable coverage at that, than the kind of thing that most boutique agencies deliver, which is beautiful press releases sent out to massive mailing lists.

    These will get caught in spam filters and get your email address blocked at worst, but they'll usually get ignored on time conservation grounds.

    Don't put images in, or html. One link only, to relevant web content, if you have to.

    Posting hard copy press releases is just a way for agencies to make money by bumping up the postage and stationary costs. They always get binned. If you retain a PR or Marcomms agency that posts out press releases, it's ripping you off.

    Once you've got some interest from journalists THEN you send out the press release. But don't fill it full of 'the world's leading' hyperbolic crap. Stick to the facts. Add in INTERESTING AND RELEVANT quotes, if you have to. Not 'We're delighted to...' stuff, or crap like that. Informative quotes that are relevant to a human interest angle to the topic at hand only. Company MDs or CEOs love having themselves quoted in press releases, but they generally don't have anything useful to say, other than how delighted or proud they are or whatever it is you're pushing. Which no one cares about. Find an angle, then write something for them which actually comments on affected issues in an interesting way. If there isn't anything worth saying, leave out the quote and let the product or service stand on its own.

    DO NOT let them put their 'We're so proud... world's leading... dedicated team... delighted to...' crap in there. Journalists play quote bingo with press releases. Don't encourage them.

    Don't be cute or clever. Don't use puns or cliches. Unless you're a genius like me and can write outstandingly brilliant ones.

    If it's Business to Business or trade press that you've had the interest from, then you write the story for them, and put what you want in there, and DON'T FORGET THE BLOODY SALES TEAM'S CONTACT INFO.

    If it's for general media, or consumer press, then the give the journo the basic facts and an UTTERLY OUTSTANDING IMAGE, saved as a hi-res jpg, and they'll write it themselves. Try and get a web address quoted - and for a retailer where someone can actually BUY the product from, not necessarily the actual company's address, if they make it, but dont' sell it. A journalist will bung in a good picture over and above anything else, so have some good ones. DON'T photoshop them, other than for general corrections or to tidy them up. Sticking your product in the hands of a model shot from an image library is outstandingly naff. Just don't do it.

    Sticking to the above tricks will get you coverage worth hundreds of thousands in terms of the amount you would have to spend on advertising, to get the same number of column inches.

    Further to this: If you want to get your product, or whatever, all over the Interwebs, then here's the trick for doing so:

    Do your homework on blogs that cover the sector you're promoting. Pick one that's got fairly low traffic, but is quite niche. Contact the author. Offer him or her an exclusive first look. Give them a really nice picture. Send them a sample and tell them they can keep it. If they don't bite, try another, but if the blog's actually active, they always will. Make sure they include a web link, either to a retailer, or to your client's website (and remember, if you want people to buy something, and it's on sale already ALWAYS link to a retailer, not the manufacturer) Then when they've put their piece up, submit it as a link to digg, reddit, and also all of the other high traffic blogs which let their readers submit tips. Get a private email address and submit that sucker all over the place.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2009
     (4956.10)
    Moar, as there seems to be a character limit:

    You will get an existing blog story on something featured on bigger blogs and websites far more readily than you'll get a press release or if you approach them directly. That's just how the web works. It's fairly simple to play the game, and you can get about fifty grand's worth of advertising equivalent spend, just by taking an afternoon to follow blog links and doing a few bits of clicky.

    Oh - another tip - if you're going to do this, then it's also worth SEO optimising your links. Try to get the original piece to include a link which actually features the product or company name in the link text. Often if you send them an HTML link that's already set up they'll cut and paste it into their feature, and then you've essentially got someone googlebombing for you, as you ...encourage... the spread of the feature around the web. Acutally, ALWAYS think about how to SEO any and all links you're releasing into the wild. It pays off.

    Forget traditional PR and marketing tactics - the above is wisdom that will get your product, book, comic, band, worthy cause, interview, or whatever, a whole load of coverage for very little outlay.

    Oh, and it actually is worth spending a grand or so on a PR database subscription. But don't let that be the ONLY thing you use. Build up your own contacts and nurture them.

    A couple of other points:

    TV programme researchers will blag samples of anything and everything you're offering. Make sure you're talking to an actual production assistant and discussing schedules when something will be likely to actually appear before sending out samples for TV coverage. However, if you're not far away and can deliver stuff to the set yourself, do it anyway as it's always fun to see what's going on and actually to chat to people you usually only email.

    If there's a big trade show, you'll get far more interest from journalists who DON'T go than from ones that do, unless you're Apple or Sony. That is, if you offer (via the magic, polite one line email) to send them a cut down pdf version of your press pack directly, instead of expecting the journos that actually do attend to visit your stand or pick up a press pack from the show's press office which they will then ignore amongst all the other freebies and crap they've picked up. That way they can file a story and make it look as though they've been, when they haven't.

    That's it, really. I could probably charge a fortune for holding a seminar to impart all that knowledge. It's yours, for free. Use it wisely.
  3.  (4956.11)
    Nothing really innovative or new to add, but I toss this in anyway:

    CAMPUS BOOKSTORE
    -Business majors don't know where to find anything or how to listen. You have to tell them things seven or eight times to get them to understand. Education and Psychology majors only need to be told once. English, Philosophy, and History majors know how bookstores work, and thus don't need help.
    -While working buy-backs or beginning-of-semester book sales, your limbs will want to fall off. You'll get used to it eventually. Just don't think about it, and buy lots of liquor.

    CUSTARD SHOP
    (don't laugh, some of this is applicable elsewhere.)
    -Have more information about your product than anyone could want, and then use that to bore them into submission when they ask questions. Or, just make something up and say it in a knowledgeable, authoritative tone of voice.
    -Never let the tip jar get too full if you can help it--if it's a slow night, leave a buck or two (as well as a fistful of nickels and pennies) in there and let people think what they will. Keep the rest out of sight, but never let a customer see you move them.
    -If you're working at a Mom & Pop place, most of your customers will be fairly decent. If someone's fairly nice or not in a hurry, joke around with them some; this might increase the amount of tips you receive by about half. If someone is in a hurry, serve them as fast as humanly possible, and you might get the same bonus. If someone behaves in an unacceptable fashion, then don't worry about giving the wanker good service, they're obviously just fine with the bare minimum.
    -The best way to mock someone on a cell phone is to immediately take your own out as soon as they get off. Look busy with it, and walk away for a few minutes.

    GENERAL
    -Working for a chain sucks, but can be a necessary evil. If possible, get a job at a locally-owned place where you've met the owner. Common sense, I know, but it needs to be reiterated.
    -Never work a door-to-door job.
    • CommentAuthorE0157H7
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2009
     (4956.12)
    @ robschamberger - That's pretty amazing. A lot of people have fantasies about what they'd do if someone pulled a gun on them, but actually dealing with a situation like that without messing up is quite an accomplishment. I had a suspicion that using dye packs and other marking/tracing methods wasn't necessarily a standardized response.

    One last bit of advice from the pool: If you ever find yourself setting up a "wine and cheese" social, do what you have to do and get out, fast. Do not get sucked in and let people start talking to you. You will be trapped, fighting the urge to pull a Hannibal Lecter and bite a face off.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2009 edited
     (4956.13)
    Second-hand trade secrets from a petty crim I know:

    1. These days almost the only things worth nicking are cash, jewelery and CDs. When DVD players can be had for $50 new who's going to to buy one down the pub?

    2. If you are going to steal stuff other than the above, it's faster, easier, less risky (and carries a shorter sentence if you get caught) to steal from outside the house than inside. It's amazing what a bent nurseryman will pay for top quality orchids for example. There's also a pretty regular market in the building trade for good quality heavy duty wheel-barrows.

    3. Loan sharks hate breaking legs. It's bad for repeat business and while you're laid up you're unlikely to be in a position to make payments. What's much more likely to happen is that two big guys will come over and have a friendly chat explaining that you can fork over the cash (including their fee) or they can go through everything you own taking anything of value (at roughly ten cents on the dollar on the second hand price.).
    • CommentAuthorPooka
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2009
     (4956.14)
    @Orwellseyes
    you said: My girlfriend applied for a gig at a seemingly very decent comic shop (not a nerd lair constructed mainly out of Babylon 5 dolls) and the bulk of the interview consisted of the other employees leering at her and being stunned, STUNNED, that she read comics.
    "Does your boyfriend read comics?"
    "Uh...yes"
    "So you read what he gives you?"
    "No.I get my own stuff." and proceeded to rattle of creators she liked, runs she'd enjoyed and such.

    She didn't get the gig, they hired some chatty fat bastard who smelled like corn nuts. They're loss, she's a cute workaholic bibliophile. And she's cute in an objective sense. I have graphs.


    That's generally the reaction you get as a girlgeek in a "boy" store...

    I'm a girl...I'm a cute girl..and I'm a cute girl who loves comics...I was amused as hell every day by the parade of boys who bought stuff just for an excuse to come up to the counter...our sales got even better when I got a cute girlfriend who was a videogame geek to work the counter too heh...

    We did however have a chatty bastard to fulfill that comic book niche...not fat..but he's a bastard heh...
  4.  (4956.15)
    This thread is incredible - I don't have a lot to offer, especially in terms of useful pro-tips, so I'll stick to a few observations:

    Tax Clerk - I'm sorry! Yes, I do actually have to pay tax, working for the tax office does not exempt me from this. Please stop swearing.

    Barman - I'm sorry! I'm not gay! I know, everyone else working here is, but I'm not! It's some kind of statistical inversion. Please tip!

    Academic Library Research Assistant - I'm sorry! I'll help you find the two dozen references you need in the IUP papers, reprinting some of the earliest UK governmental papers as soon as I can, but this guy just asked me to help him find information about some 18th Century boxer who was accused of poisoning his wife and who died in disgrace, and we keep our sports archives including this cool 1900s three volume leather-bound boxing encyclopeadia in this bad-ass locked cage for some reason so I'm gonna go help him find that. Also they're probably online now. Please come back this afternoon!

    Promoting gigs / Playing gigs - Pretty much covered already but worth re-iterating, please don't be a wanker!

    Temp - I'm sorry! All you people seem to hate each other but I'm only working here for two weeks! Please stop trying to get me "on your side"!

    Working for a Japanese Company - (I could actually go on for a long time about my current job but I'm going with discretion for now, because I've clearly signed a contract saying not to talk about it on the internet).

    Seems to me that in any job the customer can get preferential treatment by not being an asshole. I'm going to keep trying that one!
    •  
      CommentAuthorjeremiah
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2009
     (4956.16)
    i am unemployed, here are the tricks to the trade:

    1. only appy for the minnimum number of jobs each week.

    2. apply for jobs you are horribly unqualified for.

    3. dont spellcheck your resume.

    if you happen to get an interview:

    1. dont iron your shirt.

    2. act like a jerk.

    thats pretty much it, also stay up saturday night and file for your unemployment just after midnight, the site will have less traffic and you will get your check sooner...
    •  
      CommentAuthorkahavi
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2009
     (4956.17)
    This is a very, very good thread. Lots of useful information, to which I hope to add.

    Cleaner (about a year, back in high school)
    - Don't rely on window cleaning chemicals when cleaning mirrors or, indeed, windows. Most of them leave a nasty film on the glass, and the customer does not want that. Instead, use a little bit of a basic dishwashing liquid (about one teaspoon for five litres of water). There's no film on the glass, it's clean and shiny, and the customer is happy.
    - If you're an office cleaner, work either very early hours, very late hours, or weekends. The less people are in the offices at the same time as you, the less homicidal you feel. Also, make sure to get to know at least the secretary of the firm, as well as that one guy who just happens to be a workaholic. By knowing the secretary you'll get valuable information about what's happening in the offices (big events, etc.) which allows you to prepare a little better than the 'Oh we're having an office party today' -phonecall you might get in the morning. Also, the secretary is a valuable ally should any trouble arise. As for that workaholic guy (or gal)? If you're on good terms with them, chances are that when you're working, they're also working and might do some cool stuff like bring you refreshments or help with that really big pile of paper garbage you need to move...
    - Above all, make sure that the boss's boss has a good impression of you. Trust me, this comes in handy when the problems with paychecks begin.

    Customer Service Rep (at various directory assistances, about year and a half of experience so far)
    - Sound professional and authoritative. It reassures the customer and stops most complaints.
    - Anything and everything that you might know will be useful.
    - Research experience of any sort is always, always a plus. Especially if you're the kind of researcher that knows what to look for and how to find it from half a word. The customers are notoriously bad at knowing any specifics of what they're looking for, so having research skills, or any investigating skills, comes in handy.
    - Never ever panic. When the customer on the line is calling in the middle of the nightshift and crying hysterically because they've been assaulted/raped/dying, panicking is the worst thing you can do. Instead, maintain a list of emergency services all over the country. All you need to do is find out where she is and direct her call to the nearest emergency service.
    - Be polite to the elderly. Chances are that they are calling your service because they are lonely. Make sure they know how much the phonecall costs, then try to get them off the line politely. If you can, direct the call to their family member's/friend's/support group's number.
    - Knowing languages helps with international clients. It helps with national clients as well.

    That's my two cents, really. I've worked at a major cellphone company, compiling and testing cellphones, but I can't and don't really want to talk about it too much. I've also worked as a bouncer, but most things that I have to say about that have been already said.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2009
     (4956.18)
    A couple more from retail:

    1. The primary rule of retail is if people can't see it, they won't buy it. So there's a roughly 99% chance that we don't have "more out the back". This is doubly true at conventions where we don't even have an "out the back".

    2. Sometimes, very rarely, we will hold back one or two copies of the most highly sought after book of the day for special customers. Frankly, if you need to ask, you probably aren't one of the special customers.

    3. Comic shop specific - if you have a standing order and we fill it correctly and you fail to pick it up for weeks or months then we will want to kill you. If when you finally show up, you put half the comics on hold back for bullshit reasons (like "I changed my mind"/ "can;t afford it"/"bought it elsewhere", try not to bitch about the cost of the books you do actually pick up and definitely refrain from telling us you're our best customer.
  5.  (4956.19)
    hey, question for the computer folk- since im usually on at work, what are some basic things to do to cover my trail? i know i cant wipe it 100%, but im curious if there are some simple things that i dont already know about because im an idiot with computers...
  6.  (4956.20)
    joe - as one layman on the internet at work to another, if you're using Firefox all you should need to do is go Tools -> Clear Private Data, tick every box and then hit Clear Private Data Now, and that should do it.

    Also uninstalling Firefox when you're not on the computer is useful, so nobody else sees it and goes 'why is there another browser installed?'.
    I use IExplorer for work stuff and Firefox for non-work stuff.

    Anyway, whilst I think I know a lot more about computers than everyone else that works in my company, if there is anything else I can do over-and-above what I already mentioned I'd be glad of the advice.

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